“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
The quote above was used by my father’s late Uncle Benny in a newspaper article written by him many many years ago. My dad still has that newspaper clipping on his bookshelf to this day. That quote has been part of the fabric by which I have lived my life for many years. I taught school as most of you all know and I fought tooth and nail for change, reform, and a better way to teach our kids. Luckily I wasn’t alone in that battle as I had many wonderful teachers that I fought along side with. I was never satisfied with the status quo….never. That quote is an amazing quote on a lot of levels. Evil is a harsh word and certainly not the most politically correct. In the mid 1700’s being politically correct, by today’s standards, wasn’t quite as high priority as it is today. I am sure that many of you are wondering where the heck this came from and where I am going with this report. Lets get to it. We had a meeting tonight here in Zapata with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The topic of interest was the alligator gar problem. When TP and W gave the floor to us we let them know what we thought of how Falcon Lake was being managed and not just from a gar perspective. There was a lot of passion in that room and I commend every single person that showed up tonight. I stood up and talked not once, but twice. I sure hope I got my point across……I, along with many others, did not hold any punches back. (figuratively of course…..hey they had guns….lol) There were two individuals in the room that I wish would of gotten more time to talk throughout. I don’t remember their names and I am sorry. They have forgotten more about gar and harvesting them then TP and W will ever know. Both of those fellas ran extremely successful commercial gar fishing outfits and brought up many, many valid points. Their outlook on what is happening to our gar population here wasn’t promising. Look folks….the gar problem we have here isn’t the only problem, but it is certainly a piece to the puzzle in my opinion.
Other issues/points that were brought up in the meeting by various folks:
1.) Infestation of cormorants
2.) There are a lot of lakes here in Texas that are managed differently than other lakes to promote trophy bass fishing……..several folks asked about slots, reverse slots, and limits and/or strictly going catch and release. Why can’t Falcon Lake be managed as closely as many of those lakes in NE Texas? I know what some of you are thinking……Jay, Falcon was doing just fine the way it was, but this lake never saw the fishing pressure that it saw from 2010 to 2013 either. I mean dang near every bass club in AMERICA, not just Texas, was having their championship here it seemed. Bottom line….we need help…..just because the lake is cycling down right now doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t put regulations in place to lessen the effects.
I love Zapata and I love Falcon Lake…….and it sure was nice to be surrounded by folks tonight that share the same sentiment. I also want to thank all of those folks that took the time to write TP and W and express your opinions. Thank you. Lastly, James Bendele. Many of you know James or have met him or heck at the very least have read his entertaining reports at www.tackleandrods.com. Having an ambassador for Falcon Lake, like James, is invaluable and there is no way I can thank him enough for going to bat for all of us here.
I have one more quote for ya before I end this soapbox session. This quote was the starting point of my move down here to Zapata and remember it like it was yesterday.
“People ask me all the time….Why do you live down in Zapata? I tell em why the hell not!?! There is no other place I would rather be!”
–James Bendele, Falcon Lake Blast April of 2010